Achieving fantastic accuracy and control, the Reference3 does everything the Master3 can do - but does it better thanks to specialised intricate processes while being crafted.
Last Stop Before Lineage
Top of the Timbre
While similar to its younger sibling in a few aspects, the Reference3 has a much longer build time since it undergoes extremely unique processes only a few of our cartridges go through. This longer, more intricate practice produces a more colorful and deeper sound. When working in tandem with the special curing process and individual calibrations, we have the best cartridge in the Timbre Series.
To make the Timbre Series work as a whole, Grado created a way for Jarrah, diamonds, and a twin magnet system to integrate with our Flux-Bridge™. Grado modified their four piece OTL cantilever technology to achieve a 5% tip mass reduction over the Prestige Series and use ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire in the coils. The Reference3 uses a specially Grado designed true ellipsoid diamond.
In the Details.
Grado has combined newly developed coil winding techniques with decades-old disciplines. A new two-step shielding process brings not only exact unison between the four coils but an unobstructed path for a cleaner signal. The music is allowed to travel undistorted through the coils, greatly reducing mechanical noise while improving tracking. There is an extreme clarity over the full frequency range, with absolutely no stridency or shrillness. Precisely hand tipped with a diamond, a great amount of care goes into each cartridge Grado build.
The Sound of Wood.
Built from Jarrah
After the Reference3 cartridge is crafted, it is then placed inside an Australian Jarrah housing. Jarrah is necessary for the majority of Timbre Series with its ability to produce surgically precise clarity without losing any depth. Through a variation of thermal ageing processes, the housing gains the ability to better dampen and control the resonant frequencies.
Hand Built in Brooklyn
Each Reference3 is hand-built by Grado's team in Brooklyn, as it has been for decades. After a specialised process that brings it to life, they are fine tuned for everything from entry-level turntables up to the highest-end stereo systems, the solid mass of the wood helps keep the Sonata3 steady and producing the Grado signature sound. Grado started building cartridges on a kitchen table in 1953, and every experience since then has led to the creation of the Reference3.
- Body: Australian Jarrah Wood
- Cantilever: Machined Boron / Elliptical Diamond
- Output: High 4.0mV @5 CMV (45) | Low 1.0mV @5 CMV (45)
- Inductance: High Output 55mH | Low Output 6mH
- Resistance: High Output 660 ohms | Low Output 70 ohms
- Input Load: 10k-47k ohms
- Cartridge Weight: 10 grams
- Tracking Force: 1.6-1.9 grams
- Compliance: 20μm/mN
- Channel Separation: Average 30db - 10-30k Hz
- Controlled Frequency Response: 10-60 kHz
- Non-Sensitive to Capacitive Load
- Styles: High Output, Low Output, Mono
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